The EMpower 50 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders lists celebrates inspirational people of colour who are not senior in their organisations but are making a significant contribution to ethnic minority people at work.
All the executives listed were nominated by peers and employees. Nominations were then reviewed by EMpower’s judging panel, who scored nominees on: the influence of their role; their impact on ethnic minority inclusion inside and outside the workplace; and their business achievements.
1. Farah Siddiqui - Salesforce manager of Trailhead Programmes and Processes
Farah Siddiqui is the founder and global president of Faithforce, the interfaith employee resource group at Salesforce, and a manager of Trailhead Programs and Processes.
Farah is a proud Muslim, Pakistani-American woman, an ally, and a role model for many. About two years ago, Farah recognised a gap in Salesforce's equality story — there were employee resource groups around race, gender, ability and sexual identity, but none around faith. In partnership with the Office of Equality and another Salesforce employee, Farah founded Faithforce, now the fastest-growing employee resource group, with more than 1,700 members in 12 regional chapters around the globe.
With Farah's leadership, Faithforce has worked to build a culture of empathy and belonging for people of all beliefs through inclusive educational, intersectional and philanthropic events that celebrate and honour our faith diversity. Faithforce rallied the company in support around their Muslim, Christian and Jewish employees after hate-motivated attacks in Christchurch, Sri Lanka and Pittsburgh. Farah has also worked to create faith inclusion initiatives like multi-faith prayer spaces at customer events and conferences as well as in their offices. Inspired by her parents’ commitment to uplifting their community in South Florida, Farah's commitment to equality extends beyond Salesforce.
Farah is part of the Muslim Women's Association in Chicago, who work to empower Muslim women, fight for social justice, give back to communities as well as provide mentorship to young Muslim women from various cultural backgrounds. Farah took part in and helped organise service projects, was chosen to MC their annual Celebrate Muslim Women event, and has been part of their mentorship program. She also volunteers with IMAN, the Inner-City Muslim Action Network, an organisation that offers health, wellness and healing to Chicago's inner-city neighbourhoods.
2. Andrew Monu - LinkedIn director of Field and Product Marketing
As ERG lead for ethnic minorities at LinkedIn, Andrew has focused on encouraging and empowering other BAME employees to have the confidence to act as role models themselves.
He has spearheaded numerous initiatives, including listening sessions with BAME employees to make LinkedIn more inclusive; a Black History Month programme, educating employees and the wider industry about the value of building a more racially inclusive workplace; and mentoring BAME employees.
Externally, Andrew regularly undertakes speaking engagements, including being a panellist at INvolve’s “How media portrayals of ethnic minorities impact on workplace dynamics?,” and at the Telegraph’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Conference (Bridging the Diversity Gap). He has written articles on the importance of D&I, acknowledging bias and media representation.
In addition, Andrew works with schools and young people to inspire the next generation of BAME leaders, participating in EMpower’s emerging leaders programme, to teach high potential BAME students/young professionals the soft skills required for making the transition into senior roles. Andrew has received numerous awards and recognition from LinkedIn’s EMEA VP of Sales as well as LinkedIn’s CMO for delivering stellar results for LinkedIn’s EMEA business, and has been voted Top 5 global people manager twice.
3. Deon Pillay - Legal & General head of Fund Reporting and Regulatory Change
As a committee member of the ethnicity network, Deon came up with and championed the Follow the Money initiative which reached out to ethnic minority individuals from London’s most deprived areas. This provides opportunities to experience the investment management industry, with Deon inspiring individuals through sharing his personal story as an immigrant, gay male and the struggles in building a career in finance.
He is also a regular speaking at events and being a visible role model and vocal ally. As chair of Legal & General’s LGBT network, Deon actively champions LGBT inclusion for ethnic minorities and trans visibility through educational events, social networking, and training. Deon reviewed policies with the HR team to ensure they are explicitly and positively inclusive of the both the LGBT/BAME community and employees with protected characteristics, and is a mentor, supporting BAME and LGBT colleagues to reach their full potential.
Outside of Legal & General, Deon champions inclusion through attending industry events, social networking and round tables to discuss LGBT issues from a BAME perspective. He supports The Talk about black initiatives, mentors external individuals from ethnically diverse backgrounds and developed a benchmarking tool to help businesses measure their ethnicity inclusion, providing them best practice.
Deon is an LGBT GREAT Role model, co-chair and a founding member of InterInvest (The LGBT Network for the Investments industry) and network sponsor for LGBT GREAT industry benchmarking, EMpower, OUTstanding and Stonewall. Deon is one of the few BAME individuals driving ethnicity inclusion in the asset management industry.
4. Kim Vu - Bank of America SVP, Seattle market executive
When Kim joined Bank of America in 2014, she led the local team in expanding their employee resource groups (ERG) from five networks to nine networks to create more inclusivity in the workplace.
These teams continue to receive recognition within the organisation, including global awards for volunteerism and diversity and inclusion (D&I), and for their commitment to supporting colleagues to be their whole selves at work. She works closely with local ERG leaders to host conversations with employees, business leaders and the local community on the challenging issues of closing the gender pay gap, the disparity of women on corporate boards, racial equity, intersectionality, LGBT+ allyship, and transgender inclusion. Kim serves on the Bank’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Council for the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) division and recently joined the CAO Power of 10 Operating Committee, focusing on connecting women leaders across different functions.
Outside of the workplace, Kim is the national board chair and co-founding team member of The Respect Institute. The Respect Institute’s impact has been acknowledged by the Clinton Global Initiative, Ashoka Changemakers, and the Packard Foundation for reaching over 80,000 youth and youth influencers in schools and the juvenile justice system for their Respect 360 program. The program focuses on ending the school-to-prison pipeline, which disproportionately impacts BAME youth in the United States. Kim also serves on the national Juma Ventures board as well as the local Seattle advisory board.
She recently joined a group dedicated to creating a Women of Colour Storytelling Series to address the need for safe and powerful spaces for women of colour to share their collective stories and experiences, and began co-leading a workshop on salary negotiation for Asian American professional women.
5. Minal Mehta - IBM iX UK senior digital strategy consultant
Minal Mehta is a senior digital strategy consultant at IBM iX, driving technical change globally for clients in the finance, media and industrial sectors.
As a certified scrum master, she is currently leading delivery of Salesforce for a client in financial services. Minal is a recognised ambassador for diversity & inclusion (D&I) at IBM. She is a core team member of IBM UK's BAME employee network and iX Diversity Council. To make the workplace more welcoming and inclusive, Minal launched eMentoring in 2017 (37 KCL mentees and IBM mentors) and Uni Insight initiative in 2018 (50 BAME students) with Kings College University, highlighting STEM careers. She recruited BAME IBM employees to showcase emerging technologies, such as Robotics, Cognitive/AI and Blockchain and organised a panel of BAME graduates to host a Q&A session.
Minal has won several internal awards including Inclusion Champion of the Quarter and for her work on University Insight. Following being awarded a place in 2018 EMpower 50 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders list, she is now recognised as a role model internally and externally: Shortlisted in the 2019 Asian Women of Achievement Awards - Technology and Digital and invited to share knowledge on BAME D&I with IBM's clients at panel events, resulting in reverse mentoring requests from senior leadership.
Minal has been invited to speak at universities and mentors several students, promoting STEM careers to young BAME individuals. She also works with “Shiva Soundsystem”, aiming to challenge the perception of Asian culture in the UK across music, film, radio and events.
6. Bijal Majithia - EY assistant director
Bijal launched the EY Hindu Network when she joined the firm, and it is now one of EY’s most active networks, consisting of a thousand internal members. The network hosts six large events a year, tackling controversial topics such as the role of women, faith and gender stereotypes, to create a space where ethnic minorities can share their experiences.
Bijal is also a diversity and inclusion (D&I) ambassador for the firm and is involved in cross-network initiatives with a specific focus on supporting ethnic minority employees. As a result of her work on establishing Diwali celebrations across EYs, Bijal was invited to the annual Diwali celebration at Downing with Prime Minister Theresa May. Bijal’s work has been recognised by EY with a “Better Begins with You” award and an “Inspiring Role Model” award, and she has represented EY on several panels and awards.
Externally, Bijal was selected as a founding member of the Professionals Network established at the Houses of Parliament under Lord Gadhia. She was recognised by “We Are The City” as a Rising Star in Consulting in 2017 and she featured in the Consultancy UK Top 10 “Inspiring Women in Consulting” list.
Bijal is the director and founder of Veda London, set up to share mindfulness and meditation in the workplace. She leads a team of 100 plus volunteers to serve 12 charitable and community projects across the UK and India. Additionally, Bijal is an ambassador and educator for Binti International, a charity working around the world to normalise menstruation in challenging communities. Bijal features on BBC Radio 2 Pause for Thought and is a mentor for the The Girls Network, which seeks to empower girls from least advantaged communities.
7. Khalia D. Newell - Barclays vice president
Khalia currently works in the Chief Controls Office at Barclays where she is the Tech SME within the Policies and Standards Team.
Outside of her role, Khalia sits on the Black Professionals Forum at Barclays. In this role, she has run a leadership programme to help develop, promote and retain aspiring directors and managing directors at Barclays. She has also run an event on Windrush to discuss BAME contributions in a post-Brexit era.
Outside of work, she has taken part in a significant number of external initiatives with The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME), JLL, Twilio, The Social Inclusion Unit (My Life My Say) and with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for STEM to promote diversity and inclusion (D&I) within the community and various public/private sectors.
Her TEDx talk “Why diversity initiatives fail” and her extensive mentoring within the community has led her to receive numerous awards and accolades such as: The Black British Business Awards - Financial Services Rising Star (2016); We Are The City Rising Star (2017), Barclays Diversity Awards/WIBF - Finalist (2018) and Brummell Magazines Top 30 Inspirational Women City Pioneers (2018).
8. Martin Pong - Oliver Wyman management consultant
Having noticed the lack of visible gay East Asian role models in his own life, Martin created an industry leading intersectional reverse mentoring programme at Oliver Wyman to raise awareness of multiple minority identities and experiences in the workplace.
To date, the scheme has mentored over 100 senior individuals globally and become a mandatory part of the senior management training curriculum, as well as inspiring similar programmes in FTSE 100 companies under Martin’s guidance.
Martin regularly speaks about his lived experiences as an LGBT+ East Asian and explores the intricacies of navigating collectivist culture with an open LGBT+ identity. He uses the power of storytelling to make his unique struggles and lived experiences more visible to the next generation, and to senior figures who may not have considered the intersection of BAME and LGBT+ identities.
To tackle the representation problem in the UK, Martin founded the East and Southeast Asian (ESA) Project, the first UK non-profit organisation that focuses on achieving equal representation for East and South East Asian identities in media, business and politics. Having already worked with numerous charities, local youth groups, schools and universities, Martin hopes to continue the work of the ESA Project to expand the representation of LGBT+ people of colour for future generations.
9. Bernard Adjei - Lloyds Banking Group programme delivery manager
In 2016, Bernard created the RISE Scheme (Reach Inspire Support & Empower) with the vision to educate young ethnic minorities and provide a pathway into the banking industry. Through the scheme Bernard has supported and provided over 400 students from ethnic minority backgrounds with employability skills relating to confidence building, CV workshops etc.
In 2018, the RISE Scheme was voted the Employer of the Year 2018 by the London South East Colleges for the impact the scheme has had on young people in East London. Bernard was also selected to represent Lloyds Banking Group at the Race at Work Charter launched by the Prime Minister to ensure an inclusive workplace for all ethnic minorities in the UK.
Bernard has been selected as one of 20 to represent Young Bankers on the Chartered Banking Institute Board Committee. He plays an active role in encouraging, supporting and empowering young ethnic minorities to consider a career in banking.
He was instrumental in raising over £1.5 million as part of the 2025 Foundation Programme to support the education of young disadvantaged people in the UK. Through the foundation he has mentored and supported numerous applications from ethnic minorities and provided a pathway to these young people.
10. Tetlanyo Lekalake - Facebook country marketing lead (Middle East, Africa, Turkey)
In 2016, Tetlanyo co-founded the African Professional Network of Ireland, (APNI) a community that aims to connect, empower and foster collaboration between young, African professionals living in Ireland, particularly Dublin.
Since its establishment, APNI has organised numerous events to promote diversity and inclusion (D&I) in Ireland, in collaboration with organisations such as Facebook, Google, Citi and Dublin City Council. In 2017, Tetlanyo co-founded the Dublin Chapter of Facebook’s Black@ in Dublin. The chapter’s first big event was Africa Week, a celebration of Africa Day with the theme "Changing the Narrative of Africa" through experiencing different aspects of African culture.
Tetlanyo aims to offer different images of black people and of Africa to the ones often portrayed in mainstream media. For instance, the chapter wanted to get away from the Africa presented solely as a place that is poor, at war and dying, because these “single stories” or stereotypes not only present a distorted image, but they work against the progress of the African continent and black people across the globe. Instead, Tetlanyo aims to show the vibrancy, huge potential and beauty of the continent and its people. Since then, the chapter has hosted various other initiatives that are focused on raising cultural competency internally and fostering a greater sense of inclusion for employees of colour.
11. Shilpa Shah - Deloitte MCS consulting director & leader of Deloitte NSE Alternative Delivery Capability
In addition to her role leading on Deloitte’s Alternative Delivery Models agenda, Shilpa is a respect and inclusion lead for Technology Consulting. She also leads Deloitte’s Women in Technology network and is an active member of the Multi-Cultural Network and she focuses on intersectionality. To drive cultural change and create focus, she has defined gender and BAME targets for the technology consulting practice.
Shilpa mentors a large number of BAME and other individuals internally and externally and promotes different voices and stories from those of all backgrounds as she believes role models are vital to helping inspire others. She hosted Deloitte’s Black History Month celebrations as a member of the Multicultural Network, inspired over 150 BAME attendees to aim high and achieve the best of themselves.
She has delivered webinars and events to over 100 people from BAME backgrounds sharing her experiences and offering career advice and guidance. For six years Shilpa has sponsored, led and championed Deloitte’s involvement in the annual “Your Future, Your Ambition” event at the Emirates Stadium, inspiring and speaking directly with thousands of young people from ethnic minority backgrounds into STEM careers.
Shilpa shares and listens and is passionate about helping others. She has participated in numerous panels and interviews on diversity in business to change the status quo. She was listed as one of the top 100 Asian stars in Tech and has been a finalist in the Everywoman in Tech Team Leader awards twice.
12. Donna Fraser - UK Athletics (UKA) interim domestic athletics operations manager
Donna chaired the EDF Energy BAME Network for two years, increasing membership by 126%, leading the EDF Energy Indoor Athletics Challenge, part of the London 2012 legacy and delivering an event where Lord Ouesley was invited to share his career pathway to success with the aim of inspiring network members.
Donna joined UKA in 2017 and was made aware of the disconnect between the organisation and black coaches, so she delivered a project for Black History Month in that same year focusing on BAME athletics coaches; and created the “COACH” Photographic Exhibition, which recognised the contribution black coaches give to the sport and aimed to inspire the next generation of black coaches, while supporting black coaches into leadership roles.
Last year, the exhibition was hosted by ParliReach at the Houses of Parliament, supported by ministers. The project has raised the awareness of the vast skills that athletics coaches have and the relationship between black coaches and UKA has improved. Donna also set up the Equality Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Advocate Group, developing ED&I activities and an upcoming mentoring programme.
As a breast cancer survivor and a Breast Cancer Now (BCN) Ambassador, Donna feels it is her duty to spread awareness and be a visible woman of colour to help make a difference. She is a Sport Honours Committee member, aiming to encourage more nominations from BAME backgrounds. Donna is a member of numerous other organisations, including the Cabinet Office Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Group, where she promotes ethnic minority inclusion.
13. Mary Agbesanwa - PwC senior associate management consultant
Since August, Mary has co-chaired PwC’s Multicultural Business Network (MBN) as it has grown to 1000+ internal members, 300+ external members and 5 new regional MBN teams. She leads the network’s steering committee and chairs quarterly network leadership meetings.
The MBN’s main focus is driving the “ColourBrave” strategy within the firm normalising conversations about race in the workplace. Mary ensures that all events showcase diversity in leadership and sits on PwC’s People Council. Knowing that many BAME employees struggle to organically make strategic mentoring relationships, this year she organised for over 100 MBN members to be on the pilot for an internal mentoring app which enables employees to find mentors around the firm and have access to mentoring-related resources.
Outside of work, she continues to run a young professional women’s network called Now You’re Talking, which has predominantly BAME members and delivers action-focused networking events, side hustle showcases and retreats for members.
For Black History Month, Mary leveraged her social media platform to launch the #31DaysofBlackExcellence Campaign on her blog showcasing 31 young black people excelling in the corporate world, academia or entrepreneurship.
14. Jonathan Charlery - Bloomberg LP senior software engineer
Originally from St. Lucia, Jonathan co-founded Writing Legends (WL), an organisation which helps advance youth from the West Indies by providing training, such as coding workshops, and access to global development and networking opportunities.
Via WL, he is working with other organisations to tackle the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Jonathan joined Bloomberg in 2010 and is now a senior software engineer and tech champ lead who promotes developer best practices across the Engineering Department.
In addition, he is an instrumental member of Bloomberg’s Diversity Drivers, a select group of engineers who collaborate on initiatives that foster a diverse and inclusive workplace. He also helps attract and retain diverse talent by mentoring new hires and frequently speaking on panels to inspire students of all ages and backgrounds to pursue careers in technology.
Jonathan is a member of Bloomberg’s Black Professional Community, in which he introduces its members to available resources to help them advance and be open about their culture and heritage. He also helped organise a contingent of black engineers who wanted to promote a "safe space" for technical, professional and social discussions. They represent the company at conferences and events, such as the annual National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Convention and tech Meetups.
15. Vanessa Sanyauke - Girls Talk London CEO and founder
Vanessa’s organisation works as a consultancy to engage millennial women with FTSE 100 businesses in technology, financial services and law. Her senior management team is led by women of colour and they have structured internship schemes targeted at young women of colour.
Vanessa set up the first pan-industry technology mentoring scheme, the award-winning Step into STEM, funded by O2, BT, Vodafone and Ericsson, which gives female students who study STEM subjects a mentor to support their career aspirations and to address the under-representation of women working in the STEM sector. They target women who are from black, Asian or ethnic-minorities and in particular black female students. She is currently working with Facebook on initiatives to attract black female students.
Externally, Vanessa has been working with the UK parliament to lead the delivery and strategy for the Speakers Parliamentary Placement Scheme, which gives 13 people of colour and those from underrepresented backgrounds a 9 month paid internship with a member of Parliament to increase the number of ethnic minority MPs and staff.
She has also connected the scheme with corporate clients to host workplace visits to showcase other private sector opportunities. She is developing a residential programme and on Parliament initiatives to ensure that it is accessible for people with disabilities.
16. Ademola Bamgbose - Hogan Lovells International arbitration associate
Ademola is an international arbitration lawyer, and is admitted to practice in Nigeria, England and Wales. He joined Hogan Lovells after successfully completing the firm's inaugural Africa LLM Scheme, and has since played an active role in on-going efforts to promote the scheme and more importantly, promote diversity and inclusion (D&I) at the firm.
Ademola mentors black secondees, trainees and interns at Hogan Lovells, providing them with the guidance and support required to excel as a lawyer in the city. He regularly participates in panel sessions for visiting BAME students and actively supports Hogan Lovells participation in Pathways to Law and RARE initiatives. Ademola is on the Steering Committee of Hogan Lovells Multicultural Network and regularly mentors prospective BAME candidates through the rigorous recruitment process for internships and training contracts at city law firms.
Ademola co-founded Africa Arbitration, a platform designed to promote black arbitration practitioners in the UK, US, Canada and globally. Africa Arbitration features a Rising Star and Personality of the Month series, promoting the profiles of arbitration practitioners, and an "Opportunities for Africans" column where commercial law opportunities from around the world are shared with BAME lawyers and students.
As vice president of the Association of Young Arbitrators in Africa and Chair of the organisation's Mentorship Committee, Ademola successfully initiated a mentorship programme, by linking young black practitioners with leading practitioners from around the globe. He is a founding member of the Africa Arbitration Academy, an institution designed to equip arbitration practitioners in Africa, by providing them with free advanced arbitration training at leading commercial law firms in London.
17. Carrie Ng - HSBC Guernsey head of Commercial Banking
Carrie is a strong advocate in HSBC networks which play a vital role in making the workplace more welcoming for BAME colleagues. She is a diversity and inclusion (D&I) ally for HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man, a champion of Embrace (the HSBC BAME network), and previously the deputy chairperson for the HSBC Chinese Community in the UK.
She has organised a series of diversity events for colleagues of different ethnicities to network with supportive senior leaders. Through the HSBC Chinese Community, Carrie led the group to deliver events that promotes cultural awareness and workplace inclusion for Chinese colleagues, and spearheaded collaboration with other BAME networks in the industry. Carrie has also been mentoring three BAME colleagues for over four years where she proactively arranges job shadowing and senior management introduction.
Having built a reputation for being passionate about BAME inclusion, upon relocation to Guernsey in March this year, Carrie quickly become a member of the D&I committee for HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man to help shape and deliver initiatives to provide better support and inclusion for people of colour.
Carrie has previously volunteered with UNICEF and Rotaract to improve social inclusion for South Asian minorities in Hong Kong. In the UK, she has been an “anchor” for her Hong Kong alma mater to develop a social support network among its UK-based alumni. Carrie also teamed up with colleagues from HSBC to deliver a pro bono consulting project for ChangesUK and has spoken at a number of school and charity events.
18. Gurjeet Moore - Santander UK manager of Financial Crime Advisory and Oversight
Gurjeet chairs Santander’s BAME network (Ethnicity@Work) and since the launch in February 2017 has been instrumental to its successful internal and external growth.
She has recruited senior managers, BAME and non-BAME, to participate in panel discussions, coffee and conversations and speed mentoring. She created leadership and site champion roles to increase awareness and membership of the network and encourage active involvement from members.
She also leads focus groups around the UK to obtain feedback from members around the barriers they face, the support they require and what events they would like to see. Subsequently, she has just launched a bespoke BAME training programme and has developed an internal BAME mentoring scheme. Gurjeet has spoken at EMpower’s “What Makes an Inclusive Workplace” event and participated in the Business in the Community external mentoring scheme.
She has also worked with other firms in enhancing BAME research, events and inclusion. As a result of her work in diversity and inclusion (D&I), Gurjeet has been recognised in a number of prestigious industry lists including The Precious Awards 2018.
19. Serita Murray - EY senior consultant, Advisory
As chair of EY’s Black Network, Serita has planned and implemented several programmes and initiatives, aimed at developing members of the network across all levels at EY to prepare them for progression.
She created the “Senior Leadership Series in 2018”, building a team of black leaders to provide mentorships for the junior members in the network. She co-created the “Let’s Talk Race” 2018 campaign and the BAME Mental Health Series. Serita also organised the EY Black Network Black Tie Ball, increasing the awareness of influential Black leaders.
She has driven the network to engage with schools, colleges and universities to increase reach in terms of targeting an increased amount of BAME individuals. Through this, the network has increased the number of recruits interested in technology, especially women and BAME individuals. Serita also organised workshops for the AMOS Bursary, including an assessment centre scenario preparing the students for the recruitment process and a panel of speakers.
Serita is one of the founding members and ambassador of the Inaugural Baton Awards 2018, which recognises the achievements of BAME women across different industries. She speaks on panels for various events, including those targeted at students to raise awareness of career opportunities. She is also a member of TNON and YFYA, playing an active role in an event targeted at young people interested in STEM opportunities.
20. Samantha Warren - GSK manager inclusion & diversity, US inclusion and diversity CoE
Samantha’s role at GSK is to support and drive the employee resource groups to develop, grow and align with the business’ strategies.
Prior to this role, Samantha has been an active member of GSK’s African American Alliance Employee Resource Group (ERG) for 20+ years, including as a chapter lead for three years, where she sought to grow and develop herself and ERG colleagues, raising awareness and knowledge of tools and resources available. Samantha developed a training program entitled “Development Matters” for AAA members and embedded a quarterly learning series allowing ethnic minority staff to take control of their development.
She has also set up a partnership with an outreach group, the African American Cultural Festival, aiming to share non-promotional material for the education of the African American and Latino communities regarding nutrition, diabetes, lupus and the importance of diversity in clinical trials. Externally, Samantha is president of the Black Alumni Association at North Carolina State University (NCSU) which recently provided partial scholarships to six African American graduate and undergraduate students and, she serves as a professional mentor to students of colour.
Recently, Samantha was appointed to NCSU’s Chancellor’s African American Community Advisory Council, responsible for advising on matters to promote mutually beneficial university and African American community relationships. She is a former co-chair of the Alumni Mentoring Program. She is also on the board of directors for the Junior League of Raleigh; building a greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion (D&I) into the organisation.
21. Heeral Shah - Barclays director
Heeral founded and co-chairs the Asian Professional Forum to sit alongside the Black Professional Forum, and mobilised the Hindu and Sikh forums to sit alongside other faith forums, creating greater cohesion and BAME representation at Barclays under the umbrella of Embrace (the multicultural network).
She leveraged her network to recruit a diverse APF leadership team from across all UK Barclays divisions and engaged with the executive committee sponsor for Embrace to gain support. Heeral led APF’s launch event, with a panel on BAME diversity and has built membership to over 650+. She has initiated BAME mentoring programmes and encouraged the company to recognise and celebrate numerous cultural events, including World Cultural Day.
She also masterminded the inaugural Embrace Charity Gala in 2018, celebrating BAME diversity. Externally, Heeral has sponsored and spoken at a “Women Empowered” event, providing a network for BAME women juggling motherhood, work and social responsibilities. She is a member of the Multicultural Professional Networks Forum and an advocate to the government on various topics including the ethnicity pay gap.
She is on the leadership team of the charity SEWA UK, promoting blood and organ donation in the Asian Community. Heeral is also a member of EMpower’s Working Party and the leadership team of Hindu Sevika Samiti. She teaches Gujarati at the Oshwal Gujarati School and mentors internally at Barclays and externally with EMpower.
22. Faith Locken - Jones Lang LaSalle surveyor
Faith is chair of Jones Lang LaSalle’s BAME network known as Race for Change (R4C), where her mission is to increase recruitment from diverse backgrounds, improve retention of BAME employees, and improve promotion of BAME employees.
She works closely with the emerging talent team and mentors BAME undergraduates through graduate scheme applications. To improve retention of BAME talent, Faith launched Career Insight sessions, inviting senior directors of BAME backgrounds to speak about their career experiences to date and improve visibility.
She has also assisted in the creation of an unconscious bias training programme for senior management, and has set up a reverse mentoring scheme with the R4C network. Externally, Faith runs weekly tutoring classes for BAME students aged 8-10 years old preparing to take the 11+ entrance exam.
She is very active in fundraising activities at her church, which is predominantly populated by people of African and Caribbean descent. As a member of the fundraising committee, Faith helps provide funds for the children of her church to receive free weekly singing lessons, perform at various concerts throughout the year, and go on their summer residential course to St. John’s College Cambridge.
23. Lin Yue - Goldman Sachs executive director
Lin is recognised as one of the most visible, influential and connected Chinese professionals in the UK. At Goldman Sachs, Lin has authored a ground-breaking presentation based on her personal journey as a Chinese millennial after the one child policy.
Following this success, Lin pioneered a Diversity Conference decoding how unconscious bias, in particular cultural influences, can impact behaviour and how to transform existing stereotypes in the workplace. At the Goldman Sachs Young Professional and Future Leaders Conference, Lin shared insights on the uncovered similarities between Western and Chinese millennials.
Outside of the firm, Lin is a key figure on breaking the bamboo ceiling, driving industry changes by helping professionals navigate routes to leadership positions in Western corporates. Lin chaired the prestigious 48 Group Young Icebreakers, leading many high profile events, including the inaugural Young Icebreakers China event in Beijing.
She has inspired many by sharing her work with firms such as EY and Linklaters, universities such as LBS, Oxford and Cambridge University, as well as groups ranging from senior politicians, women networks to school children. Lin was the winner of the “Excellence in Banking” award at the Chinese Business Leaders Awards 2016 and was recognised in Brummell’s 2017 list as one of the most inspirational women in the City of London.
24. Michelle Danso - Man Group co-head of Prime Brokerage and Trading Legal
Michelle is a founding member and current chair of the Black Employee Network, assisting with various initiatives to make the company more inclusive for people of colour.
At various firm-wide diversity events Michelle has addressed the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts, setting the tone for the importance of the network with open dialogue on challenges faced by people of colour. She has organised meetings between the firm’s president, who sponsors the network, and various heads of diversity at peer organisations to learn from their experiences.
Michelle has organised various presentations and panel discussions in the UK and the US, sharing the message of D&I. She has built connections between her firm and Partnership Inc., which focuses on executive programmes for people of colour, and works with recruitment teams to promote candidates from Historical Black Colleges.
Externally, Michelle is a board member for the Business Center for New Americans, a non-profit organisation which develops and implements economic development programmes in New York City, with programmes aiming to help refugees and immigrants with affordable credit. She volunteers with the Young Women’s Leadership Network, speaking to New York high school students from predominantly low income areas with a higher percentage of people of colour, about her profession. Michelle has for a long time been involved with the charity Sandema Educational, focusing on establishing local radio and a library for the Upper East Region of Ghana.
25. Teik Tan - Balfour Beatty assistant supply chain manager
Teik co-chairs the Balfour Beatty Multicultural Affinity Network (MCAN) for Black Asian and minority Ethnic (BAME) employees and allies. In 2018, he helped coordinate a Black History Month event at Balfour Beatty offices, as well as training workshops which equipped BAME colleagues with the tools to challenge exclusionary behaviours.
He organises and runs Fairness, Inclusion and Respect workshops for employees at Balfour Beatty and also leads on “Inclusion Beyond the Business” workshops for those in the supply chain at Balfour Beatty. Teik works on Balfour Beatty Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) webinars for hundreds of colleagues; he worked with colleagues to set up the network’s first dedicated intranet page and internal role model campaign. From this, he went on to help coordinate Balfour Beatty’s first D&I onsite induction, signposting diversity networks available to all employees within Balfour Beatty.
Externally, Teik engages the wider communities; he shows that Balfour Beatty and the industry are inclusive of diverse talents. Teik manages a partnership with the Amos bursary; since working with them he has secured an Amos bursary placement for a student within Balfour Beatty and an on-site tour for others.
Teik partnered informally with two charities that encourage social mobility. He set up a collaborative workshop between Amos and the informal charity, Uprising, encouraging focus on shared values. Lastly Teik has given toolbox talks demonstrating business cases for inclusion; he delivered talks to major Balfour Beatty customers on his personal journey as an LGBT+ person of colour who suffers with clinical obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as discussing the ongoing support and guidance he receives from Balfour Beatty.
26. Krishna Haveliwala - MediaCom associate director
Krishna has been a key driver of the implementation of the industry-leading company-wide diversity and inclusion (D&I) agenda at MediaCom, including the organisation of internal events and initiatives, as well as client account specific programmes.
Krishna has organised internal events, including the celebration of International Women’s Day, where she championed women from diverse backgrounds. She has joined the D&I Committee as an ethnicity representative, where she organises further events and initiatives.
Krishna set up a partnership with the charity SmartWorks, a women’s charity who provide interview outfits and coaching for unemployed women. She has also developed a bespoke client-specific D&I programme for a successful client pitch, recommending an ethnicity pay gap report, diversity targets for their leadership team and an inclusive hiring policy.
Outside of MediaCom, Krishna aspires to be a role model and mentor to women from ethnic minority backgrounds. She contributes to driving awareness for “Bloody Good Period”, a charity that provides sanitary products to refugees, asylum seekers and women living in poverty. She also worked with a charity partner “Co2 Balance” to set up a CSR project to provide reusable sanitary products to help keep Ugandan girls in education.
27. Rodney Williams - National Grid lead project manager
Since 2016, Rodney has been the co-chair for “ONE”, National Grid’s multicultural employee resource group (ERG). ONE’s purpose is to support the professional development of BAME employees, promote inclusion and educate the wider company about the culture and experiences of people of colour.
Under his leadership, ONE launched a successful reverse mentoring scheme and membership has increased by 95%. Rodney also co-founded the “Development Programme for Diverse Leaders”, designed to accelerate and support BAME employees to positions of management. Rodney has presented to the UK executive board and global leadership team regarding BAME representation at National Grid, generating change at the highest level of the organisation.
Outside of work, Rodney sits on the steering committee of The Network of Networks (TNON) BAME chapter supporting network leaders from over 65 organisations including FTSE companies. TNON aims to provide a platform for cross-company network collaboration. Rodney has undertaken numerous speaking engagements on diversity and inclusion (D&I), including EMpower emerging leaders programme’s panel on Inspirational Leadership.
He is also a trustee for City Year UK, a youth social action charity which challenges 18 to 25-year-olds to tackle educational inequality through a year of full-time voluntary service in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK.
28. Sandra Milan - Genentech senior group director
Sandra is the founder of Genentech Women in Science and Engineering (gWISE), whose mission is to help Genentech become the leader in advancing the role of women in biotech.
Sandra recruits women of colour to attend and participate in gWISE-sponsored events and develops strategies to find, retain and address the needs of women, and in particular women of colour, in scientific roles at Genentech. gWISE sponsors unconscious bias training for executives, and she has developed policies designed to encourage those leaders to think more about creating a level playing field for recruiting and hiring women, and in particular women of colour.
Sandra is a Genentech Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Ambassador, regularly serving as a panellist, and mentors for the Genentech Leader-Intern Exchange (gLINX) Programme. She also serves as a keynote speaker for internal organisations such as the South East Asian Club.
She has also spoken at organisations such as the Society for Chicanos and Native Americans in Science and at National Latino Cancer Summit. She frequently serves as a panellist for many different minority-focused organisations at leading universities, such as UC Berkeley and SFSU helping place many students in laboratories and industry internships.
29. Dara Kirton - PwC senior manager
Since joining PwC, Dara has had had a proactive role in diversity outside of her day job in consulting.
In 2013, she set up the PwC Diversity Mentoring scheme to encourage students from underrepresented backgrounds to seek and gain careers in professional services. The scheme supports 200 students across the UK with employability skills and applications. 60% of these students are from BAME backgrounds.
She has chaired the PwC Multicultural Business Network since 2015, steering the network through a relaunch, and it now has over 1,100 members. Dara led ColourBrave, a national campaign encouraging conversations on race at PwC. She now sponsors the network, mentoring the co-chairs and supporting and facilitating discussions with leadership and clients.
On a day to day level, Dara has acted as a role model, coach, mentor and sounding board to many BAME colleagues and proactively championed diversity and inclusion (D&I) across the firm. She joined the founding team of UK Black Tech, an organisation put in place to increase the cultural diversity of the tech industry, and is an active member of the EMpower working committee.
30. Maya Mansour - Oliver Wyman management consultant (associate, organisational effectiveness)
As an organisational psychologist and management consultant, Maya deeply values the importance of inclusion and diversity in driving business outcomes.
Apart from her work in advising clients on diversity and inclusion, Maya is the EMEA Regional Lead for Oliver Wyman’s Racial and Ethnic Diversity employee network, working with over 10 chapters in the region on the implementation of the global diversity and inclusion strategy. Through this role, Maya has implemented initiatives including reverse mentoring, targeted recruitment campaigns, external industry engagements and internal debates and discussions. Besides the network's grassroots initiatives, she also works with senior leadership to implement tangible change. More recently, Maya has developed a Racial and Ethnic Diversity Strategy for Oliver Wyman in collaboration with one of the company's Managing Partners.
Outside of Oliver Wyman, Maya regularly engages with organisations in the industry to discuss racial and ethnic diversity topics and share her journey. She recently led an event with State Street on the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in senior leadership positions, together with her colleagues, and a masterclass on the topic of Talking about Race at Barclays Bank.
Maya is also part of a cross-company mentorship program, Mission Include, that is aimed at tackling all aspects of diversity and spans multiple industries. Through all of these activities, Maya continuously strives to create a more inclusive and diverse environment both within and outside the organisations she works in.
31. Alieda Moore - Bank of England deputy agent for Greater London
Alieda co-chairs the Bank of England’s (BoE) Ethnic Minority Network. She led on the launch of a strategy that has ensured that BAME issues are prominent on the Bank’s executive agenda, successfully encouraging BoE to sign up to the Race at Work Charter and set up a task force to address retention and progression issues for ethnic minority staff.
The governor recently wrote a letter to the chair of the Treasury Committee outlining the Network’s achievements, including a reverse mentoring scheme and the BoE African-Caribbean scholarship programme, for which Alieda acts as a mentor. Alieda led a project on intersectionality and barriers faced by female BAME colleagues in terms of career progression, for which she was nominated for the 2018 BoE Governor’s Recognition Scheme Award. She arranged and chaired a “Colour Brave” series that allowed BAME staff to voice their experiences to non-BAME staff and encouraged everyone to “get comfortable talking about race”.
Externally, Alieda acts as an ambassador in predominantly BAME schools where raises awareness around the possibilities of a career in the City. Alieda participates in numerous mentoring schemes, including the ACDiversity Charity, providing practical help with job applications, CVs and interview practice.
As a project leader for the non-profit, Thrive Africa, Alieda recruited volunteers to build libraries in orphanages and schools in Ghana. Alieda has also been shortlisted for the 2019 WeAreTheCity Rising Star Awards.
32. Rachel Welch-Phillips - Bird & Bird LLP associate
In September 2017, Rachel developed an awareness campaign surrounding the 30th anniversary of Black History Month, creating profiles of minority ethnic legal minds that have shaped the UK and generating conversation internally around the significant impact to the profession made by underrepresented groups.
Following that, Rachel founded Embrace, the first BAME network at the firm, which she now chairs. Since launching, the network has hosted internal workshops discussing culture and race in the workplace, held a book signing client event featuring keynote speaker June Sarpong MBE, and hosted an internal screening of "Hidden Figures".
Embrace enjoyed a full house at their Black History Month panel event in October 2018 where they discussed the past, present and future of ethnic minorities in the workplace. The network has run two social media campaigns, with the aim of improving the association of the firm's brand with open acceptance of diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Externally, Rachel dedicates time each week to engaging with those who aspire to law, as well as those who don't yet know they can, and mentors a law student through the firm's Bursary Scheme. She is also participates in Legal Experts in Schools, where she focuses on predominantly BAME schools, and is a professional ambassador in the Aspiring Solicitors programme. She has served as a panellist at the Brent Council Black History Month, and mentors numerous individuals in their academic and career development.
33. Rashmi Ghai - Citi director of Banking Capital Markets & Advisory
Rashmi has helped to make Citi more welcoming and inclusive for BAME people in a number of ways.
Those include developing a BAME-focused mentorship program; promoting inclusion through events and programs and bringing a specific BAME focus to Citi’s internally recognised and popular “Inspire and Lead” speaker series. She also acts as a role model to prove that women from a non-traditional background like Rashmi can succeed in a client facing corporate and investment banking environment. Celebrating diversity she is co-chair of Citi Roots, where she organises the firm’s celebration of major cultural events.
Externally, Rashmi is a member of the House of Lords Multicultural Professional Network Forum, sharing best practice on BAME diversity and inclusion (D&I). She also structures and delivers business skills workshops for students from various academies and local schools in London who represent the BAME community, aiming to inspire, educate and support students who would be less likely to consider a career in banking and who would not normally have an opportunity to get direct access to a global employer like Citi.
Rashmi championed an initiative that engaged the broader workforce in helping the BAME community in local communities by organising a community volunteering day at the Hope Family Trust.
34. David Elikwu - Mayer Brown International LLP trainee solicitor
As a founding member of Fusion, Mayer Brown’s Black and Ethnic Minority diversity network, David has been an integral part of its steering committee for a number of years.
Fusion’s goals include raising issues around diversity and supporting the firm’s wider diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives, one of which is increasing diversity in the workplace. David has networked extensively with schools and universities and helped develop a “See Me Be Me” initiative at the firm which involves Fusion hosting career days for ethnically diverse students from disadvantaged backgrounds learn more about work opportunities at the firm and how to develop soft skills. He also represents the firm in speaking at schools, universities and other platforms throughout the year.
David spearheaded efforts to get the firm to be involved with the Government’s Ethnic Pay Reporting consultation and drafted much of the firm’s response to the consultation. Fusion has been responsible for a raft of events and initiatives all aimed at creating awareness of the various cultures celebrated by Mayer Brown’s employees, and engaging the firm to participate in important cultural celebrations. David has also taken the responsibility in starting a dialogue with the firm’s human resource team regarding how best they can recruit and retain diverse candidates.
Externally, David organises a yearly careers conference with Urban Lawyers for almost 300 students from underprivileged backgrounds. He mentors with the Success Looks Like You scheme and on a private basis with BAME students. David is a regular speaker at events focusing on diversity, perspective, and the role of Africa in a global economy.
David is also a school governor in Barnet, at one of the borough’s most ethnically diverse schools. He works with the charity Breaking Barriers to help refugees start new lives in the UK, is on the steering committee for the Junior Lawyers Division of the British Nigerian Lawyers Forum, and is working with the Black British City Group to start a crowdfunded community fund which will give hardship and small business grants to young disadvantaged people within the black community.
35. Shuhena Bhanu - Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) senior associate
Shuhena is on the committee of the FCA Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Working Group, which advises the business and proactively seeks to address a number of BAME challenges, including the lack of diversity at management level.
Last year, she successfully helped organise a pilot mentoring programme for BAME individuals to have a senior leader provide career progression sessions. She is currently co-lead for the BAME mentoring scheme, expanding the reach of BAME individuals seeking to progress at the FCA. Shuhena acts as reverse mentor to a non-BAME executive board director, advising her on diversity issues within the FCA. She is working on initiatives that are based on the findings of The Middle Report, to inform board directors on how BAME individuals can accelerate to management positions, such as creating a fast-track managers’ programme.
As an active Muslim Leadership Committee Member, she organises events to foster interfaith dialogue. Shuhena is invited to speak on panels regarding the BAME experience, including a women’s panel, led by the business editor of The Independent.
She also actively mentors aspiring lawyers and leads extra-curricular activities such as cycling in the BAME community. Shuhena was ranked in the “BB Power and Inspiration 100 List – 2018”. She received the RISING STAR accolade on this Power List which recognises outstanding talent and leadership in the British Bangladeshi community.
36. Morgan Vazquez - BNY Mellon global head of Campus Recruitment & Emerging Talent Programs
Morgan is an active member and event organiser for IMPACT, BNY Mellon’s multicultural BRG, which believes in leveraging differences to encourage collaboration and promote a diverse, inclusive and successful workforce.
Morgan incorporated an IMPACT info session into all campus hire orientations. She is also a member of BNY Mellon’s Hispanic Latino Leadership Forum and Latino Advisory Group, two groups committed to empowering Latinx talent to realise their full potential. Morgan is a planning committee member for Hispanic Heritage Month, and singlehandedly proposed, developed, organised and led an initiative known as the “Sophomore Summit” that aims at providing diverse students with an inside look into the financial services industry as well as career coaching and skill-building workshops.
Prior to becoming the global head of Campus, Morgan took the initiative to incorporate an element of diversity recruitment into her role, leading diversity-specific recruitment initiatives to encourage persons of colour to apply for internships. She has represented BNY Mellon at over 20 diversity conferences and career fairs, and has led the firm’s recruiting workstream for the annual ALPFA convention since 2016.
Externally, Morgan is a career coach at The Opportunity Network, which works with students from systematically underrepresented communities in developing their skills, knowledge and passions to achieve their college and career goals. She speaks at various diversity and inclusion (D&I) conferences, and for the Selective Corporate Internship Program. She is president of the Fellows Board of the National Society of High School Scholars and a dedicated advocate and volunteer for the local Bronx, NYC community where she attended college.
37. Ajay Mistry - Brokerbility partnerships director
Since joining Brokerbility, Ajay has been looking at ways to positively impact people of colour. Having previously worked on diversity in the insurance industry, Ajay is keen to address the ethnicity pay gap for the industry.
He has nominated and profiled several BAME colleagues for external awards, raising their profile both externally and internally, garnering positive press and leading to senior staff doing more in the BAME space. He’s also introduced cultural days to celebrate diverse heritage. Ajay co-founded the industry-wide Insurance Cultural Awareness Network (iCAN), which was developed to support and recognise careers of multicultural and International colleagues in the insurance industry.
He co-chairs a cross-industry committee, focusing them on mentoring and pushing intersectionality. The network is launching a new partnership with a large recruitment firm in May 2019 to enable better employability skills training for BAME colleagues in Insurance.
Ajay has also been promoted to co-lead on the steering committee for TNON, developing the leadership skills of BAME network leaders from both public/private organisations. He is also working on multicultural events for the 5th year of “Dive In”, focusing on a public discussion of the ethnicity pay gap, having previously focused on leadership and unconscious bias.
38. Anthony Francis - Lloyds Banking Group lead project manager
Over the past year, Anthony undertook a number of initiatives to make Lloyds more inclusive, including writing several blogs on the experiences of ethnic minority individuals, pushing for greater intersectionality with the firm’s LGBT+ network and being appointed role model and intersectionality lead.
He has undertaken numerous speaking engagements and mentors younger ethnic minority colleagues. Beyond Lloyds, Anthony mentors individuals at other organisations and has mentored younger people of colour via Stonewall, building awareness in schools and communities about intersectionality within ethnic minority, faith inclusion and LGBT+ inclusion.
He speaks at schools, pushes inclusive messages via his social media platform and sits on numerous external panels to further deliver this message of intersectionality. He has been identified for the past two years by Lloyds as an ethnicity role model and an LGBT+ role model.
39. Louise Twycross-Lewis - Wavemaker head of Quantitative Research
Louise set up WM Roots, a group of like-minded colleagues who champion ethnic and cultural diversity at Wavemaker, as well as driving greater inclusivity and representation within the wider media industry.
Louise has presented Wavemaker specific results from the Industry Diversity Taskforce census to the agency, to be used to track diversity progress; arranged for WE ARE STRIPES to speak about their work championing ethnic diversity and highlighted how Wavemaker staff can get involved. She also organised a photography exhibition featuring and celebrating women of colour; and connected with WPP contacts to help set-up their own branches of Roots.
Roots has facilitated numerous events to promote diversity and inclusion (D&I) and intersectionality, including participation in mentoring schemes and collaborating with HR on incorporating D&I into recruitment practices.
To achieve positive change outside of her WM Roots efforts, Louise mentors women of colour within the communications industry. She has also worked hard to raise her own profile and visibility to act as a role model.
40. Jennie Koo - Capital One head of Operations Risk Management
Previously of RBS, Jennie chaired the Multicultural Network and co-chaired the Women’s Network and organised a BAME career conference for school children and their parents.
Since moving to Capital One, Jennie continues to take an active role bringing her experiences and knowledge to raise awareness of BAME and unconscious bias both internally and externally. She drives forward awareness of the impact of group think and diversity of thought, not just in the BAME space but with future leaders through graduate programmes, universities and various programmes such as Enactus and the Prince's Trust.
Externally, she established the Birmingham branch of Women in Banking & Finance, using this platform to engage on the ethnicity agenda. She has spoken on BAME inclusion at the Chartered Institute of Insurers, LGBT Alliance Network and Women in Finance. By utilising her position, Jennie is driving forward the discussion and awareness of the need for BAME representation along with other diversity of thought in the boardroom.
She is currently working on bringing to Birmingham the first BAME Professional Career Development Conference, where she aims to tackle not only BAME issues, but also location bias, which is particularly prevalent in the financial service sector.
41. Anjeli Patel - Deloitte senior consultant
Having recently joined Deloitte, Anjeli has become a member of the firm’s multicultural network.
She represented her previous firm, at Stonewall Workplace conference three times, speaking specifically about the challenges faced by Asian LGBT+ individuals. She was on the leadership team of the firm’s LGBT+ network and was consulted on the creation of gender neutral toilets.
As a trans woman, Anjeli is passionate about creating inclusion for LGBT people of colour. She has spoken extensively about the issues faced by LGBT people of colour from her perspective, including in an interview with the BBC Asian Network and the FT on transgender rights being the frontier for business and change.
She recently featured in the Asian Voice Newspaper, speaking openly about the impact that being LGBT+ can have on mental health, particularly focusing on cultural nuances. She has previously spoken at the GG2 diversity conference and at various universities across the country. She has been recognised as an LGBT+ role model by Leicester City Council and has been listed in the India London Gazette Powerlist.
42. Sid Maheshwari - Aviva system and architecture lead
Sid has been pivotal in promoting the “Aviva Origins” community, one of six employee networks developed in 2018 to ensure Aviva promotes a fully inclusive environment where colleagues from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds can flourish.
He sits on the Aviva Origins steering committee and has been instrumental in supporting the delivery of many fundamental changes in the organisation including implementing the RACE charter, which includes providing leadership on race and ethnicity in Aviva. Last year, Sid led the Diwali celebrations across multiple UK sites in Aviva which generated a huge interest amongst UK employees to partner with the Origin community. Sid has been supporting diversity mentoring scheme for students, and is partnering with the central diversity team to roll out unconscious bias training across Aviva. Sid leads the communication function for the Origins community and led the design of the technology platform where Origins material could be easily hosted and accessed, allowing members to discuss any barriers and issues they face. In addition, Sid has been an active mentor to junior BAME colleagues.
He championed the roll out of a “cultural exchange” training programme with the Aviva’s offshore partners with the aim to bring cultures closer together, and contributed to other strategic deliveries including critical work using “data” to understand barriers and opportunities at work.
Externally, Sid is the principal secretary and one of the founding members of Amerindis, a network based in South Bucks to promote Indian culture and heritage. Sid has played a pivotal role in increasing the membership base of Amerindis from a few families in 2014 to 450+ individuals and growing. Sid is also supporting an awareness campaign with local residents impacted by increased burglary cases amongst the Asian families, raising issues with local police and council. Sid is a huge supporter of Asian Women across industries, often nominating those with exemplary achievements for awards.
43. Leon Walker - Lloyd’s of London development manager for Managing Agents and Groups
Leon is chair of the Global Cultural Awareness Network (CAN@Lloyd’s), which promotes religious and cultural diversity, career progression and diversity of thought.
In 2018 this included a celebration of Indian Maritime Business and the launch of an associated mentoring scheme, an initiative targeting 65 BAME emerging talents, creating a platform to share their experiences of working in the Lloyd’s Market resulting in a “Black Paper" for Leaders due for release in October 2019. Leon also played a leading role in Lloyd’s signing up to the EMpower Ethnicity Pay Gap Mandate, which kicked off the Lloyd's I Did It (Self ID) campaign for the collection of the data to report its Ethnicity Pay Gap.
Outside of work, Leon is chair of the EMpower Working Party which has representation across financial services and drove the creation of the EMpower Ethnicity Pay Gap Mandate. He is also deputy chair of the Lloyd’s Assembly, which promotes diversity of thought and experience across the Lloyd’s Market. Leon is a governor at Manorfield Primary School in Tower Hamlets, and speaks regularly on race & equality, on podcasts and at panel events, including DiveIn.
Leon is an established reverse mentor to leaders in insurance and politics and runs a successful mentoring circle for emerging talents from diverse backgrounds, supporting the development of their early careers in financial services.
44. Cecil Adjalo - Hiberus Tecnologia UK director
Cecil is a visible black role model to aspiring talent, sitting on the board of Hiberus Tecnologia. In his previous position, Cecil led the partnering of charity Place2Be, setting up a business challenge day with 15 students from the London Bridge area, 95% of participants were ethnic.
On the board of Hiberus Tecnologia, Cecil is a voice for the under-represented when it comes to recruitment strategies. He also acts as a mentor to BAME colleagues, and plans to set up an official BAME initiative within the next year. Cecil dedicates time to building startups with founders from BAME backgrounds through Foundervine CIC, where he is significantly involved all planning, decision making, and execution of high impact initiatives.
Their flagship programme, Startup 54, has seen the creation of 24 startups, with 116 graduates exploring new business ideas, teaming up and forming business ventures that are then pitched to VC and investor judges. He has also made significant contributions to The Summer Gathering and Founderfest, gatherings of innovators, entrepreneurs, future founders and investors, bringing people together who are highly ambitious, like-minded and thirsty for knowledge.
Recently, they partnered with BAME focused Colourintech and sponsored a young BAME founder to go to Silicon Valley for a week visiting companies like Weebly, WeWork, Google.Org, Mindspace and more. They have been recognised in the Sunday Times and invited to Downing Street.
45. Ratidzo Starkey - Bank of England head of Outreach and Education
Ratidzo co-chairs the Bank of England’s Ethnic Minority Network, steering the network to focus on ethnic minority representation at the bank. She has provided the network with clear direction, utilising her visibility with senior management to ensure that BAME issues are prominent on the executive agenda.
She has collaborated with HR to understand the issues faced by ethnic minorities at the bank, in order to effect positive change. Ratidzo has represented BAME colleagues at executive committees, driving the bank’s strategy to improve the progression of BAME colleagues, and successfully encouraging the bank to sign up to the Race at Work Charter, sponsored by Business in the Community.
Ratidzo curated the bank’s Black History Month celebrations, fostering a culture of inclusivity for her colleagues in the bank. Ratidzo fed into a number of policies to ensure the bank considers diversity in the external activities it undertakes and, in her capacity as head of Outreach and Education, Ratidzo ensures that the bank is honouring its commitment to be a role model for other institutions in the City. She is also on the steering group for the Bank’s African Caribbean Scholarship scheme. Externally, Ratidzo is a judge for the Black British Business Awards and participates in a number of career-focused panels where she talks about the importance of diversity in the workplace.
She has mentored young people of colour from disadvantaged backgrounds through a number of schemes, and has co-organised a number of diversity-related events as part of her local school’s Parent-Teachers’ Association.
46. Jorge Santos - Goldman Sachs vice president
Jorge is a member of the Firmwide Hispanic/Latino network (FHLN), through which he aims to help develop Goldman Sachs’ Hispanic/Latino professionals so that one day the firm could have a strong number of Hispanic/Latino professionals in top leadership positions.
He has been nominated as the co-head of the professional development pillar, fostering the mission of the network to attract, retain and develop the firm’s Hispanic/Latino professionals by providing professional development opportunities in key areas such as leadership, communication and commercial impact.
He implemented two key impactful programs that helped advance the careers of many Hispanic/Latino professionals at the firm, the “Continued Education Series,” a panel discussion that provided a forum to hear from Goldman Sachs colleagues who had earned their CFA or CPA licenses and to learn about the impact these certifications had on their careers, and the “Internal Mobility: Learn and Connect” event, which included a panel on career mobility followed by a networking event with hiring teams to learn about open roles.
Jorge is also a member of the Securities Summer Diversity Council, which monitored the performance and experience of 51 black, Hispanic or Latino interns joining the Securities Division this summer across all functions and ultimately helped to inform hiring decisions for the firm. Many recent graduates reach out to Jorge for career advice on how to get a role at the firm or excel in a career as a trader. He has participated in the Schusterman Initiative’s Reality Adelante Experience, and has recently been appointed as a member of the board of directors of Friends of Puerto Rico.
47. Jehu Chesson - Mastercard manager of Business Operations
Jehu currently serves as a global lead for the Leading Employees of African Descent (LEAD) business resource group (BRG) at MasterCard, overseeing numerous global chapters and being instrumental in launching further chapters in Lagos, London and Waterloo.
As global lead, Jehu champions inclusion, develops the annual BRG strategy, seeks to maximise impact and works to build strong relationships with other BRGs and to solicit executive support. Jehu drives efforts geared towards development of minority employees, and participates in innovation challenges, community support, diverse recruitment and mentoring.
He ensures that LEAD partner with HR annually to recruit minority interns and draw from Historical Black Colleges & Universities. Currently, Jehu is working with MasterCard’s Black Executive Network to establish a global mentoring programme.
Externally, Jehu serves as a role model and mentor for minorities within the community. He volunteers on several committees in the local school district, and has helped to coach a diverse sports team. During the protests following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in St. Louis, MO, Jehu volunteered with a minority group to collect relief supplies, food and distributed to needy families within the impacted communities.
48. Imran Sheikh - BP global controller of Integrated Supply and Trading
Imran is the co-chair of a UK-wide network that promotes ethnic diversity within BP and led a successful drive for transparency of ethnic minority data across the UK entities within BP. Imran is a mentor to numerous individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds.
He has ensured his team is diverse from a colour, gender and sexuality perspective, and has championed fun events that promote open dialogue around race and ethnicity but attract and engage all employees. He has made the case for diversity being good for business rather than simply a corporate responsibility at several senior executive meetings, and has helped secure his network a seat at the table of the group’s HR strategy team. He has participated in EMpower’s mentoring programme and has spoken about successful employee affinity groups at an EMpower event.
Along with the co-chair of his network, Imran was invited to be on the panel at an ethnicity network event at UBS alongside Dame Fiona Wolf. He is also the executive sponsor for BP’s involvement with the Career Ready charity, which focuses on getting young people from the local communities that businesses are based in ready for the world of work.
Being based in Canary Wharf, talent from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets is not well represented in local businesses. By championing this effort, Imran has supported internships for 10-15 people per year, with 95% of interns from BAME backgrounds.
49. Joanie Kwok - Anheuser-Busch director
Joanie is no stranger to pushing past her comfort zone to further dialogue around diversity; she uses her own (still growing) experience of cultural duality to bridge gaps in understanding.
She was born in Queens, NY, and raised in a Chinese & pan-Asian dominant neighbourhood. Because of this, she didn’t fully cherish her heritage until attending Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. She very quickly pivoted to become a lead within the Pac Asia club and a participant in conversations around embracing race & ethnicity on campus.
Joanie is now co-chair of Anheuser-Busch’s US Pac-Asia employee resource group, a part of the company’s wide reaching diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives. The group’s mission is two-fold: to generate awareness of Asian American consumers to the larger organisation by sharing their diverse experiences and to create an inclusive community for Asian & POC employees. The hope is that with more awareness comes more compassionate curiosity in engaging with different consumer bases.
Externally, she has served as a lead within Asian American for Equality and the Museum of Chinese in America young professional groups, and volunteers with AALDEF to conduct the post-election poll survey in ethnic communities. Feel free to give her a ping if you’re looking for non-light beer pairings for Asian cuisines!
50. Patrice Gordon-Mantey - Virgin Atlantic joint venture senior manager
Patrice is responsible for managing the relationship between Virgin Atlantic and its partners at Delta and Air France KLM.
Soon after joining Virgin Atlantic, Patrice was quickly recognised as a change catalyst and nominated to head up the Talent Development Group for the Finance Department. She was asked to be the first reverse mentor within the company to the CEO and then lead a cohort of reverse mentors across the business, which will expand across the year.
She was chosen due to her ability to translate between all levels, her background, and ability to be objective and honest. Patrice has been able to shed some light on some of the challenges she has faced in her career and within the organisation, which she believes could have hindered her development, personal learnings on what she could have done differently, but most importantly what she believes are the key attributes to success.
Most recently, Patrice received certification to facilitate the Springboard training programme, a development course for junior women in business. Patrice also studied independently to become certified as a personal and business coach, keen to help others realise their potential and become their best selves.